Just wanted to say a big thankyou to all of you who’ve been sharing, tweeting, ‘like’-ing, sending us videos and generally spreading the word. I don’t know if I’m able to contact you once the campaign ends so I’m pre-empting the worst by sending this to you all a few minutes before twelve, how many minutes to be decided on the roll of a die….
The million dollar question – will we re-launch the campaign? – I honestly don’t know at this moment. What I’m going to do is set up a register of interest. If you are interested in getting the film made, you’ll simply sign up at turnto400.com and if we get above a certain amount I’d consider running the campaign again. – A bit like the people of Magrathea*- see the bottom of this message for details.
Some have pointed out that the page wasn’t easy enough to find –hopefully we’d be able to fix that next time and get the right key-words in there. I also think there’s a lack of understanding about crowd-funding – certainly in the UK. Publicity is not easy and not cheap (short of semi-legal activities!) – I’ve spent a few hundred pounds on publicity and advertising so far and had some pay-off from it. I’ve used three twitter accounts and been suspended four times amongst them for ‘spamming’ – everyone has their own views on that - I won’t discuss it here! Perhaps I didn’t start the pre-publicity campaign early enough. Perhaps if KS had launched in the UK earlier we’d have been able to piggyback Ian’s BOTZ launch publicity.
My point about publicity is that it is fairly easy to target hard-core gamers, we know where they (you?) hang out, what they’re into and the likelihood of them being in to FF. The more difficult people to reach are those who have fuzzy nostalgic memories of FF and would love to be reminded of it, but that don’t play games any further than angry birds etc on their smartphone. They require more lateral targeting – eg I managed to get through to a couple on a drumming forum I post on.
16 million FF books sold worldwide. One percent of those book buyers must be at least vaguely interested in where the books came from and what inspired them! Even if only 1% are, and we assume that everybody bought 16 books, and that nobody read them at the library or passed on from a big brother/sister, or bought them on eBay that’s still 10,000 people! We had an average pledge level of £40. I don’t need to tell you that on those (completely made-up and biased!) figures we only need 0.1% of people!
The two main things about all campaigns like this are: 1/ its not a free pot of money, it comes with fees and costs and is taxed like any business venture and 2/ the month (or however long) of running the campaign is a long hard slog and I can spot on both the funding graph and the facebook ‘talking about’ graph those days where I haven’t had enough time to do as much publicity as I’d like.
This month of work is also not factored in to the costs! From checking overnight pledges at 6am to sending messages of thanks at 11pm and in between…. Thinking of ideas for viral videos, giving out leaflets, making announcements on twitter and facebook and pinterest and tumblr and er, wondering whether to do google+ (despite not quite understanding it) clipping up excerpts of our interviews to release as teasers – full days ploughing through the lists of pledgers to other projects with a similar theme – googling those people and checking their interests before messaging them to see if they’d be interested in our project (because not all understandably put their details in the Kickstarter profile) – I feel like I am halfway qualified to become a Private Investigator!
What could we do? - We could drop the quality and reduce the target sum, we could reduce the costs on the rewards (but that wouldn’t go down well with pledgers) – we could drop the price of the rewards and hope for the ‘pile ‘em high sell em cheap’ mentality. I’m not a marketing expert, I’m a film maker. Also, I can look at the referrals (which websites sent funders to us) and the stats and see that 3300 people watched the pitch video, 400 people pledged (several cancelled their pledge in the last few days – why I don’t know! – perhaps due to my constant pestering!) – that’s not a bad ratio – I’d be happier with 1-1 - what I don’t know is how many didn’t know anything about FF and watched the video by mistake, or how many do like it but didn’t like our idea or our rewards or something.
If we re-run the campaign, I’d be happy to open it up to people to help on a more formal basis – eg, got an idea for a pledge reward? – want to manage a certain aspect of the publicity? – Got something you’re willing to donate to be a reward – all these things would be really helpful. – Someone in France/Canada ready to help publicise in French? – What about Brazil/Portugal etc etc etc…
I’ve broken my KS duck and for now at least, no page 400 - my adventure ends here… But as we all know, I could always return to page one and start all over again - Watch this space on www.turnto400.com and an easy place to post news is still www.facebook.com/turnto400
p.s. – those avidly watching Steve and Ian’s top ten games, I haven’t forgotten you – the grand finale! – available password free: https://vimeo.com/54361481
p.p.s. I am on twitter (as if you didn’t know) as @seanski44 (will probably leave @turnto400 dormant) – and do try to respond to everyone so feel free to send q’s / suggestions if you want.
p.p.p.s. – Remember Arcana Agency are still in the running to fund their gamebook – although our cross promotion won’t be on (unless several super-rich altruists have turned up while I’m pressing send on this) because our project didn’t succeed. They’re still worth checking out and need your help – click here to see what they’re up to!: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1615043334/arcana-agency-the-thief-of-memories-a-full-color-g
*Douglas Adam’s “Hitchhiker’s guide” refers to the legendary planet of Magrathea whose industry was so staggeringly expensive that when the universe’s economy went bust they went into cryogenic sleep within the planet, not to be awakened until the economy was again strong enough to afford luxury planets. – a bit selfish maybe?
Graphic of the pledge graph follows for those intrigued by how these things look! - happy to give any pearls of wisdom to anyone considering running a Kickstarter campaign...